Howard Fineman reports that actress Ashley Judd is ready to announce that she will run for Senate, in hopes of unseating Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from his seat in Kentucky next year.
Fineman writes, "Reached for comment by email Saturday, Judd offered a not-quite-ironclad denial to The Huffington Post. 'I am not sure who is saying this stuff, but it is not I! I’d prefer as a fan of your journalism that you stay accurate and credible. We told everyone who called us yesterday these stories are fabrications.'
"But she declined to specify which 'stories,' did not say what wasn't 'accurate,' and did not respond when asked directly whether she had, in fact, decided to run or chosen a time to declare her intentions.
"'I know she knows she has to declare soon,' said one source, a highly placed elected official who declined to be identified because he was discussing private plans."
Republicans are already producing web videos taking aim at Judd's perceived liabilities: Her support of President Obama (not an asset in a red state), her environmentalism (albeit mountain top removal mining is drawing an increasing number of opponents) and her recent residency in Tennessee. The toughest one may be Hollywood, i.e. a liberal elite celebrity out of touch with the common folk. But McConnell is not hugely popular, and Al Franken proved in Minnesota that a progressive celebrity could win (by a hair) by staying clear of the national and entertainment media and focusing almost exclusively on retail campaigning, town-by-town.